Monday, August 31, 2009
35. THE INSULATOR COLLECTOR
When, as a kid, we used to go to Manila via the old MacArthur Highway, I would often see these aquamarine-colored glass knobs on top of the electric wooden poles lining the road. I would often wonder what those pretty little things were, until I found a similar piece in my grandfather's tool cabinet. I was the told that these were glass insulators used to insulate wires. Technology has made obsolete these glass insulators, but not to collectors who rediscovered these as late as the 1970s and turned them into hot collectibles (a rare glass insulator sold at a staggering $22,500 at a U.S. auction) .
Coming in different colors, various sizes, and unusual shapes, they are often used as paper weights or as sun catchers, to be displayed alongside other bottle collections. I only have four examples, of clear and aqua-colored glass. But there are other color variations like amber, pink and cobalt blue. Expect to pay from 50 to 500 pesos for a glass insulator --that is, if you can find one here (I did find one, at Makati Cinema Square).